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Ghost-like 'Casper' octopod discovered

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Media caption"Casper" was discovered in the Pacific Ocean

Scientists say a translucent, "ghost-like" octopod discovered in ocean depths near Hawaii is "almost certainly" a new species.

It was found by a submersible vehicle at a depth of around 2.5 miles (4km) off Necker Island.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it was a depth record for an octopod without fins.

The creature has already been nicknamed "Casper" after the cartoon ghost.

The octopod lacked pigment cells, giving it its light-coloured appearance.

"It is almost certainly an undescribed species" Michael Vecchione of the NOAA said, calling it a "remarkable little octopod".

Deep-sea octopods fall into two categories - cirrate, or 'Dumbo', octopods with fins, or incirrate octopods, without fins, which look more akin to shallow-water octopus.

The sighting of Casper represents the deepest ever observed sighting of an incirrate octopod, Mr Vecchione said.

Image copyright NOA
Image caption The Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) Deep Discoverer made the find on 27 February

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